Nudging Agents with an Offer of Representation

In light of so much good news happening with #PitchWars, I thought it might be great to do a post about nudging with an offer of representation!

There are tons of resources for this, which is where I pulled my info from (mainly HERE and HERE), so I’m not going to re-invent the wheel here and have nothing profound to add. I think one of the best posts on this is Dahlia’s, so go there for more detailed info!

What I will say is that nudging is exciting and dreadful at the same time.

I loved Kirsten, but I knew that I needed to be respectful of the other agents (and I had read over and over that agents don’t like it when you accept rep without giving them a shot to read/offer). Even then, those 10 days felt like SOOO long!

But it also feels good to finally put someone else on a deadline after languishing in the trenches with only vague time references on when you’ll hear back 🙂

Nudge for an agent who has your full:


Thank you again for your interest in MANUSCRIPT. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve had an offer of representation and I’ve told the offering agent that I needed until DATE to consider.
If you’re also interested, could you please let me know your thoughts by DATE? 
Thank you so much!
Nudge for an agent who has your partial:


Thank you again for your interest in MANUSCRIPT. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve had an offer of representation and I’ve told the offering agent that I needed until DATE to consider.
If you’re interested in continuing reading, could you please let me know your thoughts by DATE? I have attached the full for your convenience.
Thank you so much!
(P.S. This might be a little presumptuous to attach the full (I got contradicting advice on this), but I figured, why the heck not? If they are interested, it will save a back/forth, if not, they would have passed regardless.)
Nudge for an agent who has a query only:

I know you may not have seen this query yet, but I wanted to reach out to you because I received an offer of representation today. I told the offering agent I’d get back to her/him by DATE so if this query seems like something you’d be interested in representing, I can give you until then with the full. However, I completely understand that you may not be able to rush.

Thank you for your time and consideration.
Gentle deadline reminder nudge:
I just wanted to check in to see where you’re at with MANUSCRIPT and if you needed anything else from me. I really appreciate your taking the time to look at my MS, particularly on such a sped-up timeline.
(You may feel totally comfortable with just waiting until the last day and hoping all the agents remembered your deadline. I’m too much of a control freak and would rather get instant step asides than just never hear back, so I sent this last reminder 2 days before the deadline. An agent who is really interested is going to remember to get back to you, so this is honestly unnecessary, but writers are a paranoid bunch! In the end, every agent who told me they would get back to me, did.)
Best things about nudging?
  1. They don’t say “pass/reject” they say “Step aside” 🙂
  2. Your inbox is dinging a lot and it’s exciting
Bad thing:
  1. Getting a lot of rejections in a short amount of time. That’s not fun for anyone, even with an offer on the table. It can weirdly affect your confidence so you need to have a good group of support around you and keep reading your emails with the offering agent to remind you that you and your book are awesome! 🙂
  2. If you get another offer, having to tell someone who loves your book and believes in you, that you are choosing a different agent. That sucks. No getting around it and you’re going to feel bad about it, even if you love your chosen agent and have no regrets.
Some agents will ask who the offering agent is. Tell them! It’s definitely not something you need to keep a secret. I wouldn’t offer it up in the initial exchange, but if they ask, there’s no reason not to tell them.

4 Replies to “Nudging Agents with an Offer of Representation”

  1. Destiny,
    Nice post!
    What if you have an offer of representation from a small press (low to no advance), and you still have queries out (but no partials)? Do you even bother contacting the agents?

    1. I think that’s up to you! bringing an agent into the mix definitely improves your chances of a better deal (not just money, but terms), so I say it doesn’t hurt to nudge those agents. I would just put “SMALL PRESS OFFER OF REP” in the subject line.

      1. Also, I know the is super late because somehow it got stuck in spam, so I’m interested to hear what you did!

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